Newbie needs help.

Discussion on general cichlid care and issues. ID cichlids you don't know the origin of. Mixed tank questions.

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William
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Newbie needs help.

Post by William » Sun Oct 02, 2005 6:09 am

I am new to this forum and cichlids in genral. I have recently purchased 2 young Jewel Cichlids(Hemichromis bimaculatus). I would like to know how to tell the differant sexes :?: The one is slitterly larger and the spots are smaller and it somtimes has red under its chin. They are still small 1-2 inches. I would also like to know what to feed them besides bloodworm. The smaller one hides in the plants but the larger one stays in the open and often chases the smaller one around all the time. It also does not let the smaller one eat. Is this normal or has the larger one got a problem. If they are a pair and they spawn would i be able to leave the fry with their parents and for how long.

William
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Post by William » Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:07 am

I forgot to ask. I read someome fed their Jewels cow heart. Is this a good idea and cooked or raw. (why has no one reapled to my post)

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Marco Arroyo
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Jewel Cichlid

Post by Marco Arroyo » Sun Oct 02, 2005 12:41 pm

HI there, how are you? i hope great, well let me tell you first of all that jewel cichlids are awsome fish i really like it, if you want to feed them with beef heart i think this will be ok, but try not to feed to often. theres a link when you can learn a lot of this fish but the problem is that is in spanish if you need translation let me know, thanks

http://www.croa.com.ar/docs/articulos/021.htm

William
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Thanks

Post by William » Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:53 pm

Hi Tubiflex :D

Thanks for the reaply. :) I am a 13 year old living in South Africa. I cannot speak a word of Spanich. I was going to keep Rams but when I got to the Pet store I preferd the Jewels.

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Marco Arroyo
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ok

Post by Marco Arroyo » Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:13 am

Then i can help you with the translation, or if you want you can try the altavista.com theres a translate tool very efficient, greetings

William
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Post by William » Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:09 am

Thanks i am busy tranlating it now the translator and site are very useful. About the Beefheart do u think i should cook it.

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Lisachromis
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Post by Lisachromis » Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:42 pm

When serving beefheart to fish, you do not cook it. You take out as much of the fat, veins and muscle as possible. It's not necessary for them to have it if they have a varied diet. Also, if you are insistent on feeding it to them, it should be a treat, and should be finely ground. It's ALOT of work making beefheart. I wouldn't bother unless you had alot of fish.
:)

MatsP
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Post by MatsP » Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:39 am

I've recently read an article about feeding beef-heart to fish, and it was stating that the fish aren't really suited to use the fat that is in the beef.

It is a good source of protein, but for fish, you want fat that is oily, rather than the hard fat of beef and pork.

So, a better source of protein would be fish. Any type of fish you can find in the supermarket would do. Fresh or frozen. Chop it really fine. If it's frozen, you can use the cheese-grater to grate the frozen fish to small bits.

You can obviously also use prepared dry-food, there's several brands that all do almost the same thing. But do give your fish SOME other food too. Live bloodworms is excellent, frozen bloodworms an alternative, and there are several other live or frozen foods that can be used for feeding fish. Live food is good both becuase it's "more fresh" and the live-nesss will often cause the fish to get more interested in the food.

Earth-worms (the ones you find in the ground) are also good food. For small fish like yours, you probably want to find one or two small ones (2"/5cm long, 1/8"/2-3mm thick) and chop it to fairly small pieces.

A little bit of vegetable matter isn't bad either.

Mussels, shrimps/prawns can also be chopped up and given to the fish. If you buy a packet of mussels or shrimps, you can freeze the rest as smalll portions in an ice-cube tray, filling the rest of the space in each compartment with water to keep them from drying out. Then just plop the cube in the water to melt when you want to feed your fish.

Don't feed too much, but give them a variety of food. Just like humans should eat lots of different things, but not too much of anything to be healthy, the fish will be at their best if they get lots of different kinds of food, and not too much. The fish should be hungry almost all the time, otherwise you're feeding them too much...

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Mats

William
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Post by William » Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:28 am

Hi

Thanks for all your reaplies. I did some reaserch and found my fish are Hemichromis cf. letourneauxi and not the fish that i describe. I cannot find any info and was wondering if anyone had any info like size and how to tell the differant sexes. I am only 13 and these are my first cichlids. I thought as far as food goes smaybe i could use frozen guppy fry as i already have a tank of guppies. Any help will be appreciated.

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Lisachromis
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Post by Lisachromis » Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:23 pm

Your best bet for food for them is a varied diet of flakes, and maybe pellets. I would not start feeding them feeders. Believe me, they'll be perfectly fine on flake. :)

faulty
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Post by faulty » Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:51 pm

William, were about in SA are you, i think it is great that you are in to Keeping Chichlids, you need to do loads of research and keep asking questions. IMHO having kept fish for many years and only recently getting into cichlids has tought me so much in the last few months.

i have a 700 litre 6 ft rectangular tank, lisa will be able to tell the exact size is 1.8m X 630cm X 610cm. it would be interesting to know what tank setup and water you are using William.

William
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Post by William » Tue Oct 11, 2005 2:18 pm

Hi I live in Gonubie. It is a small 'suburb' of East London. Do you live in SA? I have found it very difficult to find any info. I think that most people are yet to discover these brilliant fish. At the moment I have them in a rather small 10 gallon. The tank is well planted with a rock feature in the open. My mom is planning to buy a tank about the same size as yours but she wants to use it as a marine tank. I am halfway to convincing her to use it as a Cichlid tank. My fish have been acting strange lately. They have been staying in the caves and well planted areas. They are not as interested in food as they used to be. I think this is due to high nitrate levels, because when I got them about 2 weeks ago. For the first week I tried feeding them several types of vegitable matter such as lettace, carrot and cucumber. They were not interested in most of these so it sank to the bottom and rotted. I did a 50 % water change to try and lower the nitrate levels. This does not seem to have been successful.
Should I try another water change? Or should I turn my heater up to increase the speed of bacteria growth in my tank??
Any help will be appreciated!
Thanks
ps My fish are still very young...... about 1 inch (2.5cm) :lol:

MatsP
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Post by MatsP » Wed Oct 12, 2005 5:07 am

William,

If your tank is just recently set up, I think you are still in the beginning of "cycling" the tank. This means that the tank hasn't got the beneficial bacteria that converts ammonia (from the fish-poo and fish-pee, and from rotting carrots etc) into nitrite which is then converted to nitrate.

Ammonia and nitrite are highly poisonous to the fish, so there's a good reason to convert it to nitrate, which is MUCH less bad for the fish, although it needs to be dealt with (by removing it).

It will take several weeks to build up the bacteria, and one possible problem with the cycling of the tank is that it starts by building high levels of ammonia (when there is little or no bacteria in the tank), followed by high levels of nitrite (once the ammonia to nitrite bacteria has built up sufficiently). Unfortunately, the nitrite to nitrate converting bacteria will not start reproducing until there is sufficient nitrite, so there's little that can be done to fix this, other than waiting.

I know this may sound complicated, but it's the way it works in nature...

Unfortunately, it's not helping much to change the water whilst the cycling is happening, as this will just lengthen the process (although, if your nitrite or ammonia level is at a high level, it may help the fish feel better).

Faulty: If that's your outside measures, your tank is just over 650 liters. If it's the inside measures, it would be just under 700 liters (691 to be precise).

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Mats

William
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Post by William » Wed Oct 12, 2005 6:33 am

I used my tank as a tropical tank(Tiger Barbs Black Widows etc) For about a year and because of the bacteria never removed any water or dirt from the gravel. The only changes i have made where adding mire plants and a rock cave.

Thanks

faulty
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Post by faulty » Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:10 pm

William: i live in Durban, and i know were Gonubie is, are you still running the same water or did you change the water for the Cichlids, import things to remeber are if that is the same water you may need to raise the ph as the water in SA is very softand has low ph around 6 - 6.5. if this is the case when doing a water change try to use a gravel suction to get rid of all the rotton uneaten food, remember your old practices and try to simulate without to many changes.

if you had fish before there is not much difference in techniques just some specifics for the new breed.

if you want info then try the municiple library and use google search engin just by typing the fish name in, you will find many different topics and information some of it conflicting.

only a bit of trial and error will help you at this stage but you dont want the fish to die, sometimes a small price to pay ( as cruel as it sounds)

william explain to your mom that a marine tank of some size may be awesome but is not efficiant as the ocean is and requires plenty work and can become extreamly costly to make it run effectivly, were a 6ft tropical tank may be slightly less exciting on the eye a number of suitable malawi tankmates can make it very special in it's own right. in a week or two i will be ready to show a few pictures and ill send you some.

Mats: those dimensions are inside my tank has 12mm glass and was built in 1992, it has been in my mates family and now passed on to me. it is cut on the side and had overflow box but i have removed it. since i have a big substrate base and the water is about 5 cm from the top i estimate the water capacity to be about 600 litres, thus making weekly changes at around 10 % only 60 litres. i hope this will be sufficient.

fortunatly i have already taking all the water from my 4ft and used it in the new tank, the 4ft had about 14 months of bacteria growth in the substrate which itransfered and never washed.

i am considering adding the box back and making a sump filtration system later on.

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